On the Aurora 101 Experience, we focus on the magic of the Northern Lights no matter the conditions. 


Aurora Reykjavik – The Northern Lights Center

We meet at the fantastic Aurora Reykjavik Museum. Our journey begins with a guided tour through the museum, where we give you an introduction to both, mythology and folklore, but also the physics behind the Northern Lights.  We will enjoy some of the most amazing displays ever caught on film all over Iceland. Now it’s time to get set for the night: We will teach you how we read the forecast and how to enhance our chances to find the magical aurora. We will then give you a short introduction to photographing the Northern Lights, and you have the chance to test your camera settings in the unique northern lights photo simulator.

Aurora BaseCamp

After the museum, we drive 30 minutes out of town to our next destination, Aurora BaseCamp. There we will visit otherworldly geodesic domes, hidden in a rough and barren lava field. Inside is an exhibit where they’ve put the physics into practice and create northern lights inside large glass cylinders, among other fascinating displays. There we also have a lounge where you can have a nice hot beverage before we head into the night.

If the conditions are right you will be able to enjoy the northern lights from the fantastic outdoor area of Aurora basecamp. But if not we will head out to test our luck in a few different locations.

A Unique Tour

Usually, the Northern Lights Tours are a hunting experience. You go into the dark, frozen winter night with hopes of getting the opportunity of seeing the elusive natural wonder that is the Aurora borealis. But as with any hunting expedition, there is always the chance of not catching anything. Our tour is not your average northern light excursion however, it is an experience.

Unlike most northern lights tours we go every night, (unless the weather conditions are not favourable to travel at all – the safety of our guests of course are always a priority).
Our main focus is to give people an aurora experience, even when opportunities for first-hand sightings are limited. We will always look for the Aurora, but when they are seen they are just the cherry on top, not the entire experience.



Iceland Northern Lights Photographer of the Year Competition Rules

The Northern Lights Photographer of the Year is a competition, so by entering you agree to the following competition rules.

1. Organiser

1. The Iceland Northern Lights Photographer of the Year competition and exhibition is organized and owned by Aurora Reykjavík. 2. The Northern Lights Photographer of the Year competition is sponsored by Icelandair. 3. The Northern Lights Photographer of the Year competition is open to anyone except those involved in its organization and employees (and their immediate family) of Aurora Reykjavík. Judges (or their immediate families) of the competition are also restricted from entering the competition.

2. How to enter

1. Entries to the Northern Lights of the Year 2019 competition open on 15 November 2018 and must be received by midday (GMT) on  30 March 2019 (the ‘Closing Date’). 2. The Northern Lights Photographer of the Year competition is hosted on the Aurora Reykjavik website and all entries must be submitted online via the entry form at aurorareykjavik.is 3. Entrants must be aged 16 or over on the Closing Date of the competition. (There is an exception for the young talents image of the Year. This special prize is open to entrants of all ages.) 4. Entries must be submitted to a category or a prize in accordance with the guidelines of that category or prize. See sections 4 and 5 for more details.

3. Submitting images and eligibility

1. Entrants may submit up to ten photos in total to the Northern Lights Photographer of the Year 2018 competition. 2. By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to the Competition Rules and warrants that they are the copyright owner of the image. The entrant agrees to indemnify the Promoter against all costs and claims by third parties arising from breach of this warranty. 3. (i) Group entries are permitted. Groups must nominate one person to represent them in communication and submit entries on behalf of the group. (ii) Group entrants must indicate they are representing a group in the entry form. (iii) The entrant representing the group in communication warrants that they have the written consent of all the copyright holders to enter the image and may be requested to provide evidence of this. (iv) In cases where a school group is being represented, one student or a teacher should do the submission on behalf of the group. 4. By submitting images via this website you confirm to Aurora Reykjavík that each image:(i) was taken and processed by you, or by a group of which you are an active participant. (ii) is your or your group’s original work. (iii) does not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party (particularly in relation to the use of robotic telescopes). (iv) has written permission from any individuals identifiable in the image. (v) does not contain any obscene or defamatory content or material. (vi) was taken after 1 August 2018. 5. Unnatural, digitally enhanced, composites are eligible for entry to the competition but the judging panel may ask about your processing method if your photo is shortlisted. Please provide details of digital enhancements and composites in the image description. 6. The following images are not eligible for entry into the Northern Lights Photographer of the Year competition: (i) Photos taken before 1 August 2018. (ii) Photos that are not taken in Iceland (iii) Photos that have previously been submitted to or picked up by a news agency, picture agency or any media outlet for distribution. (iv) Photos that use a substantial amount of data from an image that has been submitted to a news agency or picture agency.

4. Iceland Northern Lights Photographer of the Year

– Categories.

1. There are eight categories in the Iceland Northern Lights Photographer of the Year competition. Each of these categories will have one winner, one runner-up and one highly commended award. Each of the eight category winners will be put forward for consideration to receive the overall winning prize and title of Iceland Northern Lights Photographer of the Year 2018. 2. Images can be submitted to the following eight categories: (i) Aurorae and landscapes (ii) Aurorae and people (iii) Aurorae and constellations (iv) Sunset aurorae (v) Arial aurorae (drone, plane, helicopter)

5. Special prizes

1. There are two additional special prizes in the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Images submitted for these prizes may not also be entered in a category. The prizes are: (i) The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer: SPECIAL PRIZE FROM SONY?

7. Shortlisted entries

1. To make sure that your photos are eligible for the competition shortlist, please ensure:(i) you have completed the relevant online application form, supplying as much detail as possible about your image(s) in the relevant fields. (ii) you have a high-resolution version of your photo available that can, as closely as possible, be reproduced at 300dpi and a minimum 30cm on its longest edge. This is to ensure that your image can be reproduced if it is selected for the exhibition, touring exhibition, publication and/or for promotional purposes. Should your image not meet these requirements it may need to be resized for printing or display which may lead to a reduction in quality. (iii) your photo does not have a copyright line, name or any watermarks featured anywhere on the image. Images with any such features will be disqualified from the competition. (iv) your name is not included in the caption or on the image itself. 2. If your photo is shortlisted, we will contact you on 29 March 2018 via the email address you provided and ask you to complete the following steps by midday (BST) on 11 April 2018:(i) supply a high resolution version of your photo (either in TIFF or JPEG format), that can be reproduced at 300dpi and a minimum of 30cm on its longest edge, by logging into the entry form and uploading it to your account. This must be exactly the same image as the one originally entered, albeit a larger version. No retouching or altering of the image is permitted after the image has been shortlisted. (ii) supply any missing information about your image, if needed. If you do not upload your high-resolution file(s) by midday (BST) on 11 April 2018, your photo(s) will be removed from the shortlist. 3. If you have not been shortlisted you will be notified during the week commencing 2 April 2018. 4. The full shortlist of images will not be revealed until the announcement of the winners on 23 October 2018. 5. If you are shortlisted, please help us to build excitement around the awards announcement by treating your inclusion in the shortlist as strictly confidential until the press release about the shortlisted images is issued. 6. A press release about the shortlisted images will be issued between June and August featuring only a small selection of the full shortlist. We cannot guarantee which images will be selected for use by the press. 7. Photos shortlisted in the competition must not be submitted to a news agency, picture agency or media outlet until six weeks after the opening of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 exhibition (exhibition opens to the public 24 October 2018). 8. All shortlisted entrants will be invited to the awards ceremony. Shortlisted category entrants who are notified that they have placed as a winner within their category upon receiving their invitation must keep this information confidential until the night of the awards ceremony. 9. All shortlisted entrants will receive a complimentary copy of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 publication. No cash alternative is available.

8. Copyright and use of images

1. The ROG, as part of the charitable body RMG, is dedicated to supporting public understanding and education of science. The images submitted to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition serve as key resources to promote astronomy photography in practice and in order for us to do this we need to be able to use your image(s) in certain ways. 2. Entrants will retain copyright and moral rights in their submitted images. In all instances, the copyright holder will be credited, wherever practicable, when the image is used and published by RMG and its sponsors. We will use your first and last name as supplied during the entry process (e.g. © photographer’s name). Although RMG will always supply the correct information to third parties (for example to press / media), it cannot accept responsibility for any credit line errors or omissions by these parties. 3. By entering, all entrants grant Aurora Reykjavik a non-exclusive, irrevocable worldwide, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, and publish any image entered into the competition:(i) in exhibition displays, in relation to both the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 competition, exhibition, touring exhibition and related future exhibitions, performances and displays. ii) in promotional, press, marketing materials, including social media and Aurora Reykjavik’s website, to promote and publicize the competition, exhibition and touring exhibition, as well as future related exhibitions. This may include publication in international and national media publications and online. (iii) as part of Aurora Reykjavik educational programmes or digital media, in order to introduce and promote the understanding of astronomy to a wider audience. (iv) in any Aurora Reykjavik publications about the competition, exhibition, and future related exhibitions. These may be produced by Aurora Reykjavik, or under license to a third party (who reserves the right to further sub-license such publications) in all editions, languages, territories and media, for which you will receive a free copy of the first UK print edition that your image appears in (limited to one copy per entrant, regardless of the number of images). (v) for use in planetarium shows developed and distributed by Aurora Reykjavik. (vi) for any other marketing, promotional or press purposes at the sole discretion of Aurora Reykjavik, in relation to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, exhibition and touring exhibition and more generally to promote the understanding of astronomy in general terms as Aurora Reykjavik sees fit. (vii) for brand licensed products (including but not limited to calendars and stationery) for a period of ten years.   4. In the instance that entrants are shortlisted, entrants grant the sponsor Insight Investment a non-exclusive, irrevocable worldwide, royalty-free, license to use their shortlisted images for non-commercial use, including (but not limited to) to promote and market the competition and their sponsorship. 5. Any commercial usage not covered by Clause (3) or Clause (4) would be agreed with the individual photographer on a case by case basis. 6. RMG is committed to processing information in accordance with the current Data Protection Act (DPA).  Images will be stored securely in appropriate file formats on servers belonging to Aurora Reykjavik. 7. Please do not submit your contribution to the competition if you do not wish to grant these rights.

9. Winning images

1. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the launch day of the exhibition and will be notified by email no later than April 20th, 2019. 2. If your image is selected as one of the winning images, you will be entitled to receive a prize. The breakdown of prizes is as follows: Overall Winner Category Winners  Category Runner-Ups , Category Highly Commended , Special Prize Winners . Group winners will receive their prize split equally between the group members. Prizes are non-transferable and no alternative prizes are available in whole or in part. 3. The full names and country of the winners will be published on the competition website no later than 1 May 2019. 4. The three prize winners in each category will be notified that they have placed when they receive their invite to the awards ceremony. This information is strictly confidential until the night of the awards ceremony when prize winners will find out which prize they have received (Winner, Runner-Up or Highly Commended). 5. The winning images from all categories will be formally acquired as donations to the Aurora Reykjavik Permanent Collections.  If you do not want your image to become part of the Aurora Reykjavik permanent collection, you will have the opportunity to opt out when you are informed that your image is one of the winning images.  The born digital images will be acquired in perpetuity, and be managed and stored in accordance with national museum standards. 6. A selection of shortlisting images from the adult competition and the Young competition will be made available to the public for an online vote following the exhibition opening. These entries will be specially promoted including via social media. The entry with the most votes will win the public vote.

10. Governing Law

1. Valid wherever legal only, the rules of this competition are subject to the legal and regulatory restrictions imposed under Icelandic law and the parties to any dispute or action shall submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Icelandic courts.

11. Judging

1. Aurora Reykjavik will appoint a panel of judges to select the winning photos. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection of winners. 2. Should the quality of entries fall below the standard required, the judges reserve the right not to award prizes. 3. The judges come from a range of disciplines; they will be considering images according to criteria comprising technical skills, artistic merit and originality. 4. Where there is reasonable doubt about whether a photograph meets the entry criteria of the competition, or has been taken with the equipment and under the circumstances described on the entry form, the organisers reserve the right to disqualify the image.  Wherever possible, the entrant(s) will be given the opportunity to answer queries from the judges before a final decision on disqualification is made.

12. Invalid entries

1. All entries to the competition must be submitted via the competition website. Aurora Reykjavik will not accept images submitted by any other means. 2. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are lost, delayed, corrupted, damaged, misdirected or incomplete or which cannot be submitted for any technical, delivery or other reason. Proof of submission will not be accepted as proof of receipt. Aurora Reykjavik cannot guarantee continuous, uninterrupted or secure access to the website. 3. By submitting your photo for entry into the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 competition and for publishing on the website, you confirm that the content of the photo is and will not be taken to be obscene, racist, pornographic, indecent, harassing, threatening or offensive. 4. Aurora Reykjavik reserves the right to pre-vet and/or moderate submitted photos and reserves the right to not display uploaded content to the website or remove, suspend or disable access to photos, at any time, at its sole discretion, without liability or prior notice.

13. Liability

1. Aurora Reykjavik shall not be obliged to display photos and shall not be liable for any entrant’s loss of publicity or enhancement of reputation. 2.Aurora Reykjavik and its associated agencies and companies will not be liable for any loss (including, without limitation, indirect, special or consequential loss or loss of profits), expense or damage which is suffered or sustained (whether or not arising from any person’s negligence) in connection with this competition or accepting or using the prize, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law (including personal injury, death and fraud) in which case that liability is limited to the minimum allowable by law. 3. Aurora Reykjavik cannot be held responsible for emails that do not arrive due to an entrant’s email security settings or restrictions placed by their Internet Service Provider. Entrants must ensure that their settings accept emails from [info@aurorareykjavik.is] 4. Aurora Reykjavik will not store non-shortlisted digital entries or any email correspondence after January 2021. 5. Aurora Reykjavik reserves the right to cancel or amend the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and/or exhibition and touring exhibition at any time owing to circumstances outside its reasonable control and where circumstances make this unavoidable, but will always use all reasonable endeavors to minimize the effect on participants to avoid undue disappointment. 6. If any of these clauses should be determined to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable then it shall be severed and deleted from these terms and conditions and the remaining clauses shall survive and remain in full force and effect.

14. Personal information and Freedom of Information Act

1. Aurora Reykjavik will collect personal data about entrants at the time of registration. Any personal information of entrants will only be used and, where necessary, disclosed to third parties (such as Icelandair) for the purposes of running the competition and otherwise in accordance with the Aurora Reykjavik private policy. You can request access to your personal data, or have any inaccuracies rectified, by sending an email to [info@aurorareykjavik.is]. By participating in the competition you agree to the use of your personal data as described here. 2. You can withdraw your consent by emailing [info@aurorareykjavik.is]. Your image will be removed from the competition. If it has been shortlisted it will be withdrawn from future editions of the publication. 3. Entrants will be asked at the time of registration if they would like their contact details added to the Aurora Reykjavik mailing list.

15. Accepting the rules

1. By entering your photo to the Northern Lights Photographer of the Year 2019 competition you are deemed to have accepted the above rules and to have granted the rights to Aurora Reykjavik set out above. Please do not submit a photo to the competition unless you are prepared to agree to these terms. 2. These Terms and Conditions prevail in the event of any conflict or inconsistency with any other communications, including advertising or promotional materials.

Sponsors and supporters


Aurora Reykjavík. the Northern Lights Center

Our day tours departing from Reykjavik City Center depart from Aurora Reykjavik Museum at Grandagarður 2, 101 Reykjavik. Our Northern Lights tour starts at 8:30 PM at the museum. We recommend you meet at least 15 minutes prior to departure time. The museum offers coffee and snacks for the road, and you can also use the toilet before departing. Admission ticket for the Museum is included in the price (2.000 ISK).